Muslims from Azamgarh to hold rally in Lucknow

February 19th, 2009 - 12:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Feb 19 (IANS) Thousands of Muslims will converge in this state capital Friday under the banner of the Ulema Council to stage demonstrations against the harassment of Muslim youths by police on the pretext of tackling terror.
“Two special trains and several buses carrying nearly 7,000-8,000 protesters will leave from Azamgarh today (Thursday) evening,” Maulana Amir Rashadi Madni, the convenor of Ulema Council, told IANS on phone from Azamgarh.

“We have already paid Rs.4 lakh (Rs.400,000) each for the two special trains of 20 coaches each,” added Madni.

Even as the council has planned to organise its rally near the Teele Wali Masjid in Lucknow, it is still to get the official permission in this regard from the district authorities.

“We had intimated the district authorities much before that we would be organising a rally. Till now, they have not conveyed anything to us. And now, if they try to stop us from holding demonstrations, we will not step back come what may,” said Madni.

“We all will offer ourselves for arrest and force the police to send us to jail if the gathering is not allowed to assemble near the mosque,” he added.

The council alleged that Muslim youths, particularly from Azamgarh town, are being falsely implicated in terror cases.

It has been demanding probes by the Celntral Bureau of Investigation and the judiciary into the Batla House encounter in New Delhi a few months ago, where three youths from Azamgarh were killed in a shoot-out with the police. Delhi Police had accused them of being involved in the Sep 13 serial bombings in the national capital.

To press the same demand, the council had held a massive rally at New Delhi Jan 28.

“We will continue to hold demonstrations across the country till the government orders a probe into the Batla House encounter,” said Madni.

“We will not let our youth be targeted unnecessarily by Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) sleuths or police in the name of combating terror. We know how to fight for our rights and will continue to do so till our demands are met,” he added.

The council is also planning to contest the coming parliamentary elections on its own.

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